UNITING EFFORTS FOR PEACE
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UNITING EFFORTS FOR PEACE
By John McConnell

I have been repeatedly asked, "How can the many who seek peace, justice and a sustainable future through understanding and good will come together and have a greater impact that those who use the power of money and military might to achieve their ends?

America and other leading governments devote most of their wealth to military programs. They spend billions for bombs and pennies for peace. Were the money spent on our evil weapons to kill people spent on promoting global understanding, peaceful resolution of conflict -- and on eliminating the causes of violence and hate, there would be no more wars.

Scattered around the world are wonderful programs for peaceful resolution of conflict. (Franciscans, churches, service clubs, Fellowship Of Reconciliation, World Neighbors, etc, etc,)

But most people do not appreciate this because mass media does not feature actions for peaceful progress. Media is the source of most public opinion and they make more money by features and headlines for violence and conflict. Public opinion is media made -- actions good or bad begin in the mind. Whether intentional or not, the fact is that media accents the negative and gives more attention to hate, fear, greed and lust than to the many actions of understaning and good will. As a result major nations are addicted to war.

The only way to avoid global catastrophe is for all who support the ways of peace to now come together in a moral equivalent of war. United, we can change the global war mentality to a global state of mind dedicated to positive actions for peaceful resolution of conflict.

Our problem is the "Dealers in Death" -- the corporate and White House leaders -- who make billions from the production of weapons. Their lust for money and power blinds them to peaceful policies that would destroy the causes of violence. Their only way is to "kill the killers."

If President Bush were a follower of Jesus, whom he claims to serve, he would know that the love for your enemy that Jesus taught will bring understanding of the cause of hate, fear and violence and eliminate its source.

I invite people of faith to spread the word that war is evil, that you don't overcome evil with evil. Killing is not the right way to stop killing.

There are cases in history where the most evil people have been converted. It was a converted slave trader who wrote "Amazing Grace." We should act immediately, but at the same time pray with faith and love for the conversion of Bush and Ben Laden. We need a miracle and that would certainly be a miracle. Instead of making skeletons of their enemies, they would make their enemies their friends.

Press, Radio, TV and Internet play a vital role. Actions, good or bad, begin in the mind. Those able to command media attention have a special obligation to speak out about the crisis and its obvious solution -- replace violence with attitudes and actions that foster understanding and good will.

ALL world leaders should act now, urging that everyone oppose violence with nonviolence -- Martin Luther King's effective solution. Leaders in other areas of public trust should do the same. Those who believe in the power of prayer can prove the power of their faith by their Earth Trustee actions -- vigorous efforts for peace, justice and a sustainable future..

When people think and act as Earth Trustees they will show a reverence for life -- and for holy places. Earth Day helped move toward conciliation when it had Shimon Perez of Israel ring the United Nations Peace Bell -- and persuaded Yaser Arafat of Palestine to add his name to the Earth Day Proclamation. Jerusalem is a holy place to Christian, Muslim and Jew and its role in history is important to people of every religion.

Earth Day and its Earth Trustee agenda, puts The Golden Rule to work -- do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Here is a chance for people of all religions to show their ethical values by being Earth Trustees and practicing reverence for life in word and deed.

Mass media has a sacred obligation as the eyes and ears of the public to:

-- Feature solutions as well as problems

-- Headline cases of peaceful progress in the human adventure that replace hate, fear, greed and lust.

-- Give recognition and attention to people and projects that eliminate pollution and poverty and foster peace, justice and the care of Earth.

Every radio and TV station should program a daily "Minute for Peace." A voice would state, "In this minute for peace let us join our hearts and minds, each in our own way, with faith and commitment to peaceful actions today and every day." This would be followed by appropriate music or sounds of nature.

In 1963 when President Kennedy was killed we ended the period of mourning for him on December 22 with a "Minute For Peace" which was broadcast globally. It carried the voice of Kennedy with words he had spoken the year before: "Never have the nations of the world had so much to lose, or so much to gain. Together we can save our planet, or together perish in its flames. Save it we can, and save it we will."

"Minute for Peace" was later broadcast and led in 1966 to ending the war between India and Pakistan.

On Earth Day at the United Nations there is a global "Minute for Peace," signaled by the ringing of the Peace Bell at the moment Spring begins.

With the media's cooperation, each year's Earth Day -- on nature's historic annual event, the March Equinox, will provide a great global holiday with world wide participation by people of every creed and culture. This will inspire actions for Earth's rejuvenation -- with peace, justice and prosperity for all.

Spread the word. We can change this global crisis into a new beginning for Planet Earth.

John McConnell
4924 E. Kentucky Circle
Denver, CO 80246
Phone: 303/758-7687
www.earthsite.org

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